Sunrun vs SolarCity

Sunrun and SolarCity are two of the largest, most recognizable companies in the solar industry. Both of these solar giants have been in business for more than a decade and have helped hundreds of thousands of customers switch to solar. While Sunrun and SolarCity are somewhat similar in terms of what they offer, there are a few important differences to note.
Sunrun logo verified_user
#6 Sunrun
8.6 Overall Score
3.6
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(1,454)
SolarCity logo
#45 SolarCity
4.4 Overall Score
2.6
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(677)

Overview

Sunrun

SolarCity

Best Panels Available
Best Panels Available
Canadian Solar
SolarCity
Best Inverter Available
Best Inverter Available
SolarEdge
SolarCity
Workmanship Warranty
Workmanship Warranty
20 Years
10 Years
Equipment Warranty
Equipment Warranty
25 Years
20 Years
Payment Options Available
Payment Options Available
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Buy
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Lease
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Loan
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PPA
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Buy
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Lease
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Loan
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PPA
Number of States Serviced
Number of States Serviced
19
20
Time In Business
Time In Business
12 Years
13 Years

Ratings

Sunrun

SolarCity

Overall Score
Overall Score
8.6 of 10
4.4 of 10
Review Score
Review Score
3.6
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2.6
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Value for Money
Value for Money
3.1
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2.4
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Quality of Product or Service
Quality of Product or Service
3.1
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2.3
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Customer Service
Customer Service
3.0
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2.1
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Company Trustworthiness
Company Trustworthiness
3.1
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2.1
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Likely to Recommend
Likely to Recommend
6.0 of 10
2.7 of 10

Reviews

Sunrun

SolarCity

Number of Reviews
Number of Reviews
1,454
677
Review Breakdown
Review Breakdown
3.6
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5 star
46%
4 star
17%
3 star
7%
2 star
6%
1 star
23%
2.6
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5 star
31%
4 star
10%
3 star
3%
2 star
7%
1 star
48%

Reviews for Sunrun

Helpful Favorable Review

Verified Customer

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Anne

December 20th, 2019 Waddell, AZ DETAILS arrow_drop_down
Value for your money
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Quality of product or service
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Company trustworthiness
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They were professional and new what they were doing. I've had no problems with the panels since they've been installed. Everything has been great. I have no complaints. I am very pleased with the addition of solar panels.


Helpful Critical Review

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KRM

January 14th, 2020 Houston, TX DETAILS arrow_drop_down
Value for your money
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Quality of product or service
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Customer service
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Company trustworthiness
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I am leasing to own my Sunrun equipment and for the reason I went with them was the promise of batteries. Its been 3 years now of promise that the batteries would be available only to finally find out Dec 2019 that the equipment that was installed by Sunrun does not support batteries, They said I do not have the right inverter and it would take a major contract change to fix this . I have been lied to by Sunrun for three years now I will never buy this product again. I am looking to buy property in NV and go off grid and will not call Sunrun.


Reviews for SolarCity

Helpful Favorable Review

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Jared

April 22nd, 2019 Bothell, WA DETAILS arrow_drop_down
Value for your money
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Quality of product or service
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Customer service
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Company trustworthiness
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Overall my experience with SolarCity/Tesla has been amazing. Great customer service every time I've called to get a status update or help move the process forward. Installers that came out were contracted (around March 2019) and did an amazing job. SolarCity/Tesla upgraded me to the newest panel for free as well due to supply issues (SC330 instead of SC320), and my panels are doing amazingly!


Helpful Critical Review

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Hans Muelthaler

January 8th, 2020 DETAILS arrow_drop_down
Value for your money
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Quality of product or service
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Customer service
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Company trustworthiness
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Ive had Solar City since 2013,Now Tesla= Roof started leaking a few weeks ago from under some panels,Almost impossible to speak directly to customer service. No Help!! Find out my roof is warranty only for first yr, Now I have to hire a 3rd party contractor to take panels off ,another company to fix roof,then put the crap back on to my roof! Run do not Take this company for your Solar.Buy it outright ,Do Not Lease!


The Final Word

Availability
Sunrun and SolarCity both provide solar services in Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Maryland, Massachusetts, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Texas, Utah, Vermont, and Washington D.C. Sunrun also operates in Florida, South Carolina, Wisconsin, and Puerto Rico, while SolarCity does not. However, SolarCity offers service in Oregon and Washington, while Sunrun does not.

Payment Options
Both Sunrun and SolarCity offer a variety of ways for customers to get a solar energy system on their roof, including outright purchases, loans, leases, and power purchase agreements (PPAs). Sunrun has a bit of an edge in terms of solar leasing and PPA agreements, as the company pioneered those options and made them a large part of its business model today.

Equipment
Sunrun utilizes high-quality equipment from reputable manufacturers such as Canadian Solar and SolarEdge for its projects, while SolarCity manufactures its own solar equipment, including Tesla’s Solar Roof product, which is a unique option within the industry.

Installations
While Sunrun performs most of its solar installations with its own crews, the company will occasionally outsource installations on remote homes to third parties, which may lead to variance in workmanship quality and overall experience. SolarCity, on the other hand, does not outsource any of its installations, but some customers have reported problems with delayed and incorrect installations.

Warranties
With up to a 25-year equipment warranty and a 20-year workmanship warranty, Sunrun offers lengthier product and labor coverage than SolarCity, which provides a 20-year equipment warranty and a 10-year workmanship warranty.

Battery Storage
Both Sunrun and SolarCity offer battery storage options. Sunrun’s battery storage option is called Brightbox, and it can be purchased or leased. SolarCity provides Tesla Powerwall batteries, which are compact and made to seamlessly integrate with other SolarCity equipment, but must be purchased; there is no lease option.

Referral Program
Sunrun and SolarCity both offer a referral program. Sunrun pays customers $350 for each friend they refer to the company, while SolarCity offers a $250 referral payout.

Recommendation
Sunrun and SolarCity offer similar payment options and battery storage selection. Sunrun has a bigger service area than SolarCity, offers longer equipment and workmanship warranties, and provides a larger referral bonus. For these reasons, Sunrun is recommended over SolarCity for individuals who live within the company’s operational area.

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